Naomi Bailey, high school, high school track, state track, track and field

West Valley’s Naomi Bailey carries the Alaska flag after winning the 3200 meter final during the 2021 ASAA Track and Field State Championships on May 28 at Dimond High School in Anchorage. Loren Holmes/ADN

Naomi Bailey spent her entire high school athletic career winning big. It only took her two meets for her to earn the first win of her college career.

Now, she’s already won the first award of her college career.

Cue DJ Khalid because all Naomi Bailey does is win.

Bailey, a West Valley graduate and current UAF freshman, was named the GNAC Cross Country Women’s Athlete of the Week for her performance last Saturday at UAA’s meet.

UAF was competing in a head-to-head competition against the Seawolves for the second week in a row after hosting UAA the week before. The women were running a 6k and Bailey finished first among all runners with a time of 22:37.8. It was the second consecutive team win for the Nanook women after Kendall Kramer took home first place the week before. Kramer and Bailey were teammates at West Valley before their time together at UAF.

What made Bailey’s performance all the more impressive wasn’t just that she won, it was how she won. Bailey’s time of 22:37.8 was impressive enough on its own. More impressive, however, is that her teammate Rosie Fordham finished in second place a full 45 seconds behind Bailey.

The Nanook women’s cross country team is already feeling like something special. UAF hadn’t had a female GNAC XC Athlete of the Week winner in nearly ten years before this season. Now, they’ve already had two winners in two weeks. Kramer won the GNAC XC Women’s Athlete of the Week in week one.

“We’re all very proud of Naomi,” said graduate-assistant Josh Sanderlin. “The women have all done a fantastic job of developing chemistry and lifting each other to new heights.”

UAF’s cross country team will be off until Sept. 24 when they will run at Western Oregon.

Contact sports editor Hart Pisani at hpisani@newsminer.com or 459-7530.

Contact sports editor Hart Pisani at hpisani@newsminer.com or 459-7530.

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